APASS Testing

staffAs part of its sustainability efforts Amazon has created the APASS package certification. Micom Laboratories was in Seattle, at Amazon.com’s corporate packaging lab, on April 8th and 9th for a two day training on ISTA 6-Amazon.com. Micom was already ISTA accredited for series 1 through 6. Micom is now part of the Amazon Packaging Support and Supplier Network (APASS). This program was put in place by Amazon to support vendors in certifying their products under its Frustration-Free Packaging Program.

To satisfy Amazon’s test schedules, manufacturers must certify their products either as a Tier 1- Frustration Free Packaging (FFP Amazon), Tier 2- Ships-In-Own-Container (SIOC Amazon) or Tier-3 -Prep-Free Packaging (PFP).

FFP Amazon Tier 1 requirements

  • ISTA 6-Amazon.com compliant
  • Packaging minimum dimensions: 9” x 6” x 0.375”
  • Curbside recyclable packaging materials
  • Easy to open: product must be unpacked within 120 seconds
  • Limited amount of packaging

SIOC Amazon – Tier 2

The ISTA 6-Amazon.com-SIOC test procedures were developed to mimic specifically Amazon’s distribution system for items shipped without an Amazon over box as they ship in their own container. These test procedures are for products shipped by vendors to final customers through Amazon.com Fulfillment Centers. Goods are to be shipped either through Small Parcel or Less-Than-Truckload (LTL outbound shipping methods). Type A through C and G stand for the Parcel Delivery system whereas Type D through F and H are for the LTL environment. Each category is divided in fragile/non fragile items. Fragile items (glass, liquids…) require 5 samples, per sku, to be tested whereas non-fragile items have to be tested only once. TV/Monitors are not considered fragile items and therefore require only one sample tested. Packages which have one of their dimensions less than 9” x 6” x 0.375” are not allowed to be Tier 2 (SIOC) compliant, they have to be Tier 3 (Prep-Free) tested as they require an Amazon over box prior shipping.

Tier 3 (Prep-Free)

The ISTA 6-Amazon.com-Over Boxing Packaging protocol is also intended for distribution through the small parcel delivery pipeline. The difference between Over Boxing (Prep-Free) and SIOC Amazon is that the product is repacked in an Amazon over box prior shipping to final customer. In some cases, the product could also be grouped with various vendor’s boxes in the same larger shipper box.

Sampling: What happens when you have many sku’s of the same product

Should you have similar items having scaled packaging for different product sizes (e.g.: shoes), only one (or limited) FFP certification might be required by applying for the FFP Form-Factor Certification (see below). The ISTA 6-Amazon.com tested product will bear the primary ASIN while the following ones will fall under the secondary ASIN.

Form-Factor certification main rules

  • Secondary ASIN can be up to 25% smaller in one dimension, up to 25% smaller in volume or up to 25% lighter.
  • Only ISTA 6-Amazon.com – SIOC Amazon Type A (< 50 lbs.) or ISTA 6-Amazon.com Over Boxing certified Primary ASINs are eligible to the Form-Factor certification.
  • Packages containing more than 50% of fragile items or containing liquids are not allowed to the Form-Factor certification.

Amazon’s Frustration Free Packaging Vendor Incentive program

Starting August 1st 2019, packages greater than 18” x 14” x 8” or greater than 20 lbs. which did not pass the Amazon’s Frustration-Free Packaging Certification program (Tier 1 (FFP Amazon) or Tier 2 (SIOC Amazon )) will be issued a chargeback of $us 1.99/unit received. The early adopters will receive a one-time $1.00/unit credit for FFP certified items (> 18” x 14” x 8” or > 20 lbs. only) received to Amazon’s fulfillment network before July 31st 2019. Hazmat classified, Prime Pantry and Amazon Fresh ASINs are excluded from this program.

If you have any questions about Amazon APASS Testing, FFP Amazon, SIOC Amazon or  ISTA 6-Amazon Testing, we invite you to contact us today. It will be our pleasure to answer your questions and help you with your custom material and package testing needs.